Goodsite to school board president: 'I'm confused. What's going on?'

Norwalk City Schools superintendent job offered to her, then yanked away.
Cary Ashby
Aug 2, 2014

Sue Goodsite was surprised when she learned the Norwalk City Schools board of education changed its mind on offering her the interim superintendent's job.

On Tuesday, the board voted 3-2 to hire Huron resident Will Folger as the interim superintendent. Folger, who has 40 years of experience in education, retired Dec. 31 as the superintendent of Sheffield-Sheffield Lake City Schools after nine years on the job.

Goodsite said board president John Lendrum told her during a phone conversation prior to Tuesday's special meeting that the board planned on offering her the interim Norwalk job while Folger would be the assistant superintendent overseeing personnel.

"I told him (Lendrum) I had no problem whatsoever with that," Goodsite said.

She also remembered telling Lendrum she was "excited the process was over," she "would do the best to my ability" and hoped to be considered for the full-time position once the one-year contract was finished.

Goodsite is under contract through the 2014-2015 school year as the assistant superintendent and director of curriculum and grants -- the same responsibilities she would have had as the interim superintendent.

"I was told I was being offered the superintendent's job," Goodsite said about her conversation with Lendrum, who made it "crystal clear" the job was an interim position.

"Mr. Lendrum told me, 'Remember we are just looking at just one year,'" she said.

Goodsite called Lendrum over the weekend at his request.

"Until Tuesday morning," Goodsite said she was under the impression she had the job.

But then she received a phone message and text from Lendrum requesting she call him. Goodsite called him back.

"He said there had been a change," Goodsite said.

"There was some silence. He said the board would be happy to sit down (with me), but not over the phone," she said, referring to addressing the change in the situation. "My words to John on Tuesday morning after he texted me was, 'I'm confused. What's going on?'"

Lendrum, after Tuesday's special board meeting, said it's not appropriate to comment on why certain candidates didn't get the job.

"I can't fault anyone for voting their conscience," Lendrum said when asked about the 3-2 vote for Folger.

Lendrum, when reached by phone Friday, said he didn't want to comment on what Goodsite told the Reflector without seeing or hearing what her feedback is.

"I've got no comment. I can't control what she's told you or what she's written you," he said.

Board members Steve Linder and Ralph Ritzenthaler voted against hiring Folger. Lendrum, Kevin Cashen and Rob Ludwig were the supporting voters.

Ritzenthaler and Linder have confirmed the board originally intended to hire Goodsite as the interim superintendent and Folger as her assistant.

"They (the board) told her the job was hers," Ritzenthaler said Friday. "They would be working together."

After Monday, when the board interviewed Folger, Ritzenthaler said he decided he couldn't change his vote of support to hire Goodsite.

"Giving your word is a good judge of character and I wasn't about to take anything away from her since she had accepted the job," Ritzenthaler said.

"My vote was no because of the system," said Linder, echoing the message he gave to Folger after he was hired. "Mr. Folger is very smart. It's the process that didn't go well. ... Mr. Folger will do the district well."

"We agreed Sue would get the job," said Linder, who believes there was a communication breakdown.

"We interviewed three candidates twice. I felt Dr. Goodsite interviewed the best, had the best application and the best credential of these three candidates," said Linder, who was surprised Folger was offered the interim job.

The board interviewed Goodsite twice -- on July 15 and 22.

"Sue was impressive during interviews. The only thing she hasn't done was the superintendent's job," Linder said.

Goodsite, when asked about working with Folger, said she is committed to working for the district and doing the best job she can. Folger's contract runs from Friday through June 30.

"This situation aside, I'm committed to working hard for this community. We have a school year to start. Mr. Folger and I have to work together to do what's best for the district," Goodsite said.

Comments

Foodforthought

You didnt get the job, stop crying!

mcgoff01

Agree.

other.PP

@ Foodforthought and mcgoff01- It's pretty bad how easily you can not only insult a person, but to do it to someone with the class and intelligence such as Sue. Trying to put someone else down isn't going to make your own lives anymore meaningful.

Really are you ...

The god complex.

other.PP

Even though you don't care, I find your comment a bit offensive. Say whatever u want about me, but please refrain from using "god" in any form or fashion.

Really are you ...

Ok sorry. I was not trying to pick a fight or be offensive. Just calling it the way I see it, that is what these blogs are for. If it was the moderators should have removed it. I will tame it down a bit. It is a nanny nanny boo boo, I am better than you complex. Besides the Norwalk School Levy passed last year. We have room for multiple double dipping now. I have seen people retire and take a side job just for something to do. Maybe I haven't been around long enough to see someone retire, the get rehired by the same place for better pay. What about the other teachers who may have wanted to move up? Promote from within, give all who are still working for the school district a chance. Wait that does not apply here, "out of the box thinking." sorry I meant hiring.

KURTje

These things happen everyday to most people. A 1rst for you Sue?

other.PP

I bet you'll never have enough qualifications to apply for such a prestigious job.

sorryhog

Why hire a double-dipper?

NotAboutMe

Exactly. I commented below on yours.

other.PP

Why don't you please tell us why the shouldn't if she's the most qualified. She's earned it. It takes a lot of work to reach the level she has.

Really are you ...

She has earned it. He has earned it. At some point in their qualified years, for some reason or reasons, they made a conscious decision to throw in the towel and retire. And we're back... Retire, travel, enjoy life, and watch your grandchildren grow. You have already earned it.

Another Opinion

This article was about the integrity of the school board members and how the recent hiring went. I think it showed class for Sue to say she will work as hard as she can for the community. She could have said she was handled very poorly and I am resigning.

Windy

I agree 100%. A person is only as good as his word. Sue is a class act, but the board is not.

somescrewyname

The woman should never have been told she had the job in the first place if they could and did change their minds. Double dipper or no is not the issue. you should be a person of your word....To have this said....."Goodsite said board president John Lendrum told her during a phone conversation prior to Tuesday's special meeting that the board planned on offering her the interim Norwalk job while Folger would be the assistant superintendent overseeing personnel." And then find out they reneged. anyone of us who went Through that would be disappointed.

PagingSanity

I wholeheartedly agree. What they did to Sue showed a lack of integrity and competence. This was a big decision; you would think they'd take a minute or two to make sure that they all knew what was going on before calling her.

other.PP

I agree also, and I think Sue has acted like a true professional about the whole thing. Many people would act completely the opposite and want heads to roll.

DaPlane

Something isn't adding up here. I could not be any more disappointed in my school boards handling of this hiring. It's time for John and the board to come clean to the Norwalk community that entrusted them with the leadership of our excellent school system. To Sue, I apologize to you for the actions of our school board. It's shameful.

earlduck

wow we hired someone we didn't know,thats terrible,whats Norwalk coming to

Really are you ...

Lendrum should not have said anything to anybody about what happened in the board meeting. If the board meeting information is going to be leaked before it is suppose to, why not make those meetings public. Goodsite and Folger have both already retired from teaching. This is just a battle of who gets to make more over their retirement package. Really?

JakeMac25

When I posted last week that Sue was getting the job it was because I overheard a conversation about how they offered her the job already. I was kind of shocked myself when Sue didn't get the job. I wasn't shocked when Dennis took the president job, considering I posted about that last month. I would love to know what exactly happened that made the board change their minds, literally last second.

other.PP

You're not alone. Sue is great at her job. Of course the rumor mill was running last week and I hate to say this, but one reason was because the 3 no voters weren't comfortable with the job going to a woman. It was a pretty common rumor flying around but I would never believe it. I would find it extremely hard to believe such crap, especially since Sue was so very qualified.

NotAboutMe

I agree with sorryhog and the double dipping. I am even wondering if it would be triple dipping for her. I am not saying she would not be a good fit for the job, but you can only pay someone so many times. Too many retirements and re-hires. They cost us a fortune and are making some people earn much more than they should. It is not inky in education, but in the judicial system and law enforcement. But that is just my thought.

other.PP

You can't get a more qualified person than the one who retires then gets rehired. Those people have earned that opportunity. I'll take the double dipper over a recent college graduate any day. Just like if I need to have a life saving operation, I can tell you I not only want a good doctor but one with a lot of experience.

JACKEL

He is double dipper too !

suec

The rumor mill does not always provide the full story, or sometimes even the truth. I am curious as to how many of her backers have ever really worked with this woman. I have and believe me, a lot of people have been mislead.

KURTje

Hey - "alls" I'm saying is this sort of thing is common in the business arena, sales, etc. Talk to younger people. The world has changed much since the mid-seventies. Not for or against Sue either.

keystone

I have relatives who have worked with Sue. There is not a fairer and more competent person to work with.

If double dipping was such a sin then why are those retired on social security and Ira's allowed to continue working. Also why aren't those of you against hiring Dr. Folder. He is going to be double dipping.

The issue here is not who they hired but the integrity of the 3 board members. I wish the background of Dr. folder would come out. Do a background check and see what went on during his former supt post.

Sue is showing her integrity by stating she is still willing to work with the supt elect. Mr. Lend rum nor his 3 cronies have the decency to come forth with any comments.

I feel that the OSBA and ohio ethics commission should be notified of the integrity of this board. Their phone number is on the internet. I encourage the taxpayers to call them and voice their complaint. Even if there is nothing they can do, it will put the norwalk school board on alert in Columbus.

sorryhog

keystone , you had better get your facts straight!
Most people on social security have paid for their checks. It's not a hand-out!

keystone

Most people on ss have paid for their checks....so have the people who have paid into strs such as Sue. So what is your complaints on double dipping. My argument was everyone pays into some sort of retirement system which they are entitled to when they retire. A lot of these get some short of job. Is this considered double dipping for all of these.

I do not see anything wrong with what you call double dipping. They are only collecting on what they have already contributed.

This is also true for ss and 403's. The employer also contributes to the employees fund.

I never said ss was a handout. Reread my comments if you can get them straight this time.

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